10 seconds to Zen, creative thinking, daily draw, Poetry

10 Seconds to Zen (post 5)

Rhapsodomancy (in honor of National Poetry Month)

Go. Go now to your bookshelf (do you have one in your home or office? I sure hope so.).  Quickly glance at your books of poetry or literature, and pick the first one you find (no more than 5 seconds) Close your eyes (6).  Open the book to a random page (7). Open your eyes, and wherever they focus, read (8,9,10).  What hits you?  What word or phrase stuck with you?  Was there some magic or message for you?  Just this act alone can bring a sense of peace very quickly.  In 10 seconds. You might want to take more seconds, but the initial action to change the moment, the first ten seconds is the most important. You can change how you feel with ten seconds of effort.  Evolving your mindset gets easier with practice.

This practice of randomly picking a poetic passage and finding meaning is called: Rhapsodomancy. Besides being an awesome word, it was once a great poetry reading series run by a favorite writer of mine, Wendy Ortiz. Rhapsodomancy captures two of my loves: poetry and random magic.  I practice this kind of whimsical divination often; it is great for curing the blues.

Today’s 10 seconds–from the book I selected off my work shelf…

The Great Religions (by Hafiz)


Great religions are the


Poets the life


Every sane person I know has jumped


That is good for business

Isn’t it


If you have never tried rhapsodomancy, try it today. It might just give you a little weekend peace!

random thoughts

What’s Magic Anyway?


What is magic anyway? Is it only the unseen? My eldest son is of the age that the unseen is almost always a magical event. The older I get the more inclined I am to agree with him. Magic. Yes, it can be more soothing and yet more scary. Science as an attempt to explain the invisible. And we know that doesn’t always work. So, magic it is. What is the etymology of magic??

This is what the Online Etymology Dictionary says: magic (n.) Look up magic at Dictionary.com
late 14c., “art of influencing events and producing marvels,” from O.Fr. magique, from L. magice “sorcery, magic,” from Gk. magike (presumably with tekhne “art”), fem. of magikos “magical,” from magos “one of the members of the learned and priestly class,” from O.Pers. magush, possibly from PIE *magh- “to be able, to have power” (see machine). Displaced O.E. wiccecræft (see witch); also drycræft, from dry “magician,” from Ir. drui “priest, magician” (see druid).

The idea of having control over something is definitely there.  But so is art or the making of something.  Machines then come from magic…and I wonder then, what of “imagination”?

random thoughts

Summer Magic: Books are Medicine

Even though we couldn’t travel anywhere this summer, we did manage to have a lot of great ‘day-cations’ to various places around the southland. I think we went more places as a family this summer than any other one prior to it, but we just didn’t stay long and we had repeat trips to some places. It is nice to be able to get away even in your own region. I have a lot of favorites, but I think my most favorite day-cation is the one closest to our house. It is when we spent an afternoon at the Huntington (we live 2 miles away!). I cannot tell you what a relaxed thrill I get seeing my boys run through the grass without a care in the world! 🙂 I also love seeing the butterflies, dragonflies, and hummingbirds alighting all the lush vegetation there. So magical…which leads me to the reason for the post: summer magic.

The day-cations were certainly magical and most unforgettable.  There is nothing like a 5 year old belting the songs of a summer movie musical (even if it was last year’s summer movie) to lighten your load and make you realize why life is to be lived!  However, I must admit that, for me, reading books in the summer is the most magical and rejuvenating thing I do all year.  I don’t know what it is about ‘summer’ reading — but it is different.  I read everyday of the year, but for some reason what I read in the summer usually stays with me.  This summer is no different.  In fact it stands out as a recent example of books choosing me and not the other way around.  This post is not going to turn into a review, but I will briefly say a couple of things for those who like books.

Books are medicine.  I know this, and have always known this.  However, I am almost finished with my last read of the summer (The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Urrea) and I skipped to the book club pages at the end and read part of an interview with the author in which he says that he didn’t think his little book was going to make a difference and some old curandera told him not to be silly: books are medicine! Of course!  That is why I read– to mend what ails me.  I choose books (or they choose me) like I am choosing herbs at an apothecary.

Here is the pile of books I read from June-present moment (and my ranking out of five):

My Wicked Marquess by Galen Foley ***

The Moveable Feast by Hemingway **** (can’t escape the melancholy in this one)

The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Urrea ***** (in my pantheon of all-time favorite novels)

Lord of Ice by Foley ****